The Return of the Light
“This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go and becomes the future; the place of caught breath… “
– Margaret Atwood, Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995
This month as icicles drip from the boughs of sturdy of ponderosa pines and smoke puffs from piñon fires seem to freeze in midair, we welcome back the return of the light. No place is quite like New Mexico during the holidays . A confluence of cultures: from streets lined with farolitos (brown paper bags weighted with sand, aglow from an interior candle), to Pueblo plazas illuminated with ceremonial bonfires and carols bellowing from adobe churches that ring through night.
This year Heritage Inspirations looks beyond the packages, parcels, hustle and bustle that define the holidays. We explore what it means to give the gift of experience. How to make your winter dreams come true and pave the way for magic throughout the year.
The Legacy of the Snowshoe: then and now
This December marks the return of Heritage Inspirations’ snowshoe tours in the pristine National Forest of Amole Canyon. With new friends and old, you will set off into a sparkling winter wonderland with state of the art snowshoes and a knowledgeable and spirited guide. Surrounded by oxygen pumping pines, the cares of your life at home will slip away, and you will feel revitalized and refreshed by the magic of a southwestern winter.
A gourmet tailgate follows the romp. Hot drinks, campfire chairs with woven blankets, delicious snacks, and laughter will warm the spirits.
Snowshoeing dates as far back as 6,000 years ago in Central Asia and migrated west to Europe and east to the Americas. Their design may have been inspired by animals such as the Snowshoe Hare and the Lynx who have enlarged feet that help them displace their weight so they can float above deep snow.
Prehistoric snowshoe artifacts have been found in the Italian Alps and date back to 3,700 B.C.. Some historians believe that people from Asia brought snowshoes across the Bering Strait (maybe by boat) to help them navigate frozen grounds of North America.
The use of snowshoes by indigenous tribes such as The Cree and Algonquin were essential to their winter hunting and travel. Short rounded snow shoes were easy to maneuver through thick forests, and the longer narrow design was perfect for crossing open plains.
Eventually snowshoes were seen in battle in the French Indian war. Indigenous tribes often had the upper hand as they easily maneuvered in the deep snow with the use of snowshoes. Eventually the Europeans caught on, and adopted the snowshoe for their efforts. The Battle of the Snowshoe fought in 1758, British troops relied on snowshoes as they fought the French troops and their Native American allies. Near Lake George the British Rangers fought entirely on snowshoes, but were surrounded on all sides and were defeated. Later the use of the snowshoe became accepted as an integral part of winter battle, and was an essential training component for the 10th Mountain Division.
In Montreal the first Snow Shoe club was formed in 1840, and focused on the recreational use of snowshoes with races and outings.
This winter join Heritage Inspirations and see what the fun is all about.
Leave the packages and parcels behind, and dive deep into the true magic of winter.
Over a thousand years ago, the Chacoans anticipated the return of the light by constructing the perfectly aligned structures of Chaco Canyon. Archeoastronomy was an integral part of the Chacoan world view, and the intentional placement of keyhole windows would light up ceremonial kivas at these pivotal times of year, as well as, honor the four directions.
Heritage Inspirations has reimagined Chaco and all of our off the beaten path destinations with our Glamping excursions. Start your 2023 travel plans glamping to unwrap the gift of UNESCO World Heritage Site immersion with education, cultural sensitivity, and environmental connection and awareness. At our core we have crafted extraordinary multi-day adventures that cultivate curiosity, quench the soul, delight the eye, and nourish the body. Our staff anticipates your needs so you can really focus on the magic of these iconic places. From thoughtfully adorned tablescapes with native cane cholla and desert succulents, farm to table menus infused with local ingredients, New Mexico textiles inside your luxe bell tent, cozy campfire chairs and woven blankets, our attention to detail, design and the exclusive relationships formed are the hallmark of a H.I. Glamping experience.
Our Glamping adventures also reach into the lush mountains and cool high desert of Taos, New Mexico. Timed with the Perseid Meteor Showers and the Lunar cycles in August, our multi-day itineraries include sunrise and sunset yoga practice, night sky programs, fireside stories with our Puebloan partners, Rio Grande day adventures ending with alpine hiking to a breathtaking mountain lake in the Rockies. Visit https://www.heritageinspirations.com/glamp/ to find out more about these extraordinary offerings.
And for those who strive for peace and balance in the new year, find out more about our world class wellness offerings. In peace and serenity we welcome in the New Year in much the same way we greet the sun as it crests over Taos Mountain and lights up the Gorge during our Sunrise Yoga Meditation.
Blessings to all this solstice season.